Ato Ribeiro (b. 1989, Philadelphia) spent the formative years of his life in Accra, Ghana. He received his BA from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and MFA in Print Media from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Ribeiro has worked in a variety of media, including sculpture, installation, drawing, and print making. His work has been exhibited at the Nubuke Foundation (Accra, Ghana), ABSA Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Mercedez-Benz Financial Services Headquarters (Farmington Hills, Michigan), The Ink Shop (Ithaca, NY), Agnes Scott Dalton Gallery (Atlanta, Georgia), Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan), The Carr Center (Detroit, Michigan), N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art (Detroit, Michigan), Anastasia Tinari Projects (Chicago, IL), and Lisa Sette Gallery (Phoenix, AZ). He was a 2017 Summer Fellow at the Ox-Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan and a 2017 Mercedes- Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award recipient and Artist in Residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany.
The interests behind my creative practice stem from an urge to bridge my West African heritage with my African American identity in Western culture. As taught through the Adinkra symbol of Sankofa (meaning to return and retrieve it), my research mines through and honors a variety of shared and neglected histories in order to visually speak to my contemporary sense of cultural hybridity.
The crux of my work draws from exploring modes of communication embedded within traditional textiles such as Ghanaian Kente cloth and African American quilts. By integrating my skills in woodworking, print media and other analog processes, my studio practice often incorporates collecting, joining and refining natural or repurposed materials. My wooden kente and quilt works, mixed media installations and prints provide educational opportunities to seek out new points of reference, while preserving layers of African cultural heritage and varying ethnic perspectives.
I was fortunate to be able to learn about and share with a number of talented artists, poets, curators, and activists during my time at SFAI. I was also afforded the freedom and space to create a new body of work which was later show in at a gallery in Phoenix, Arizona.